Archaeologists divide the evolution of Native American cultures into the following
approximate time periods:

Paleo-Indian Period (12,500-8,000 years ago)

Archaic Period (8,000-3,000 years ago)

Woodland Period (3,000-1,000 years ago)

Late Woodland Period (1,000 years ago-1600AD)

the Early Contact Period (1600AD-1700AD)

These periods are marked by specific changes in the material culture that has been revealed in the archaeological sites.